Marine Battery Cable Size Chart (Your Guide to Cable Sizing) - ShopSolar.com
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Marine Battery Cable Size Chart

Short on Time? Here’s The Article Summary

The article emphasizes the importance of using the correct marine battery cables for boats to ensure proper electrical function and safety. It explains that marine cables are designed to withstand harsh marine environments and are crucial for supplying energy to start engines and operate electronics.

It highlights the significance of using a marine battery cable size chart to select the appropriate cable, as using the wrong size can lead to overheating and electrical fires. The article also provides a detailed explanation of how to interpret and use the cable size chart, which includes information on American Wire Gauge (AWG), current ratings, and cable lengths. In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of choosing the correct cable size for marine batteries to prevent performance issues and safety hazards, and it suggests consulting Shop Solar Kits for a range of marine battery cables and equipment.

Introduction

When you’re out on the open waters, the last thing you want is to be caught without power. Because of this, making sure that your system is set up properly is tantamount, making a marine battery cable size chart an important tool for any hobbyist or veteran sailor.

When it comes to applications used for water travel, you need a marine battery. These are hard-to-power sources that can withstand harsh environmental and corrosive conditions.

With that in mind, components such as cables and capacitors must withstand environmental pressures. This is where marine cables come in.

Marine battery cables are a crucial part of any boat's electrical system since they supply the energy required to start the engine and operate electronics.

Choosing the right cable is vital to ensure that there is a proper flow of electricity. An incorrect cable can cause overheating and potential electrical fires, so it’s always good practice to familiarise yourself with a marine battery cable size chart before purchasing any type of cable.

There are so many cables available that it can be difficult to select a suitable one. Thankfully, in this article, you’ll learn to interpret marine battery cable size charts and select a cable size that’s compatible with your electrical requirements.

What Is a Marine Battery Cable?

Batteries are found in all electronic applications, from electrical vehicles to kids' electronic toys. However, not every battery is identical in function or design. Batteries are made for specific applications, for instance, you cannot use an AA battery to power your cell phone.

marine battery cable gauge chart

Investing in a quality marine-grade battery is expensive, so it makes sense that you should make sure everything else is up to scratch. For example, this SOK Marine-Grade 12V Solar Battery can run just about everything you need on a boat, so what cables do you need to go along with it?

Cables for marine batteries are commonly made of tinned copper wire, which has a tin covering applied to it to prevent corrosion. Additionally, they are insulated materials that are resistant to water, oil, gasoline, and other typical marine hazards.

In addition to their protection properties, marine battery cables are also made to be incredibly flexible. This enables it to bend around tight corners and wound through tight spaces. Their flexible features also prevent the wires from breaking or tearing.

To support various battery layouts and electrical systems, marine battery cables are offered in a variety of diameters and lengths. It is crucial to choose a marine battery cable that complies with all applicable marine safety requirements and is rated for the voltage and amperage of the system it will be used in.

Now that we know a little bit more about these marine cables and their capabilities, let’s move on to the cable sizing chart.

What Is a Cable Size Chart

Before we can get into using a cable size chart, it is a good idea to wrap your head around what a cable size chart is. 

You get low-voltage wire gauge charts and high-voltage cable voltage charts. However, for this article, we will be using a cable size chart for a marine battery which comes in 12 volts, 24, volts, and 48 volts.

Marine battery wiring size chart

Many new marine battery owners jump straight into using these charts without fully comprehending what they are being shown and what the different ratings mean.

This is particularly dangerous because you can end up choosing the wrong size cable which has the potential to cause electrical fires.

Ultimately, a marine battery cable size chart is a reference tool you can use to determine recommended cable sizes for your marine application.

You can find a lot of information in a cable size chart about battery cable dimensions, voltages, amperage, and cable length.

Most charts have sizes listed in AWG, which stands for American Wire Gauge. AWG refers to the diameter of the wires and is incredibly important in determining cable size.

Marine battery cable length chart

Other charts use different measurements such as square- millimeters, but AWG is the most accepted unit of measurement. Typically, you will also find other information including the number of conductors in the wire, the insulation type, and the jacketing used.

Boat builders, electricians, and other experts involved in marine electrical installations can use marine cable size charts to help guarantee that the right cable sizes are chosen for each application, based on the particular requirements of the system being installed.

Cable Size Chart for Marine Batteries

The table below represents the AWG (American Wire Gauge) of the cable according to current and length. These are essentially the only two factors you need to determine what size cable you need.

Marine battery cable ampacity chart

For example, if your system requires a current between 70-80 amperes and the wire needs to run 7-10 feet to your system, then you are going to need 16 AWG cable size.

The table below will help you select the correct battery cable for your solar panel system, RV, or boat. Remember, selecting the correct size is imperative to the proper functioning of your system. The incorrect battery can cause you a lot of frustration and money.

As you can see, the charge capacity (current) and the distance between the battery and the electrical source determine the cable size. Ultimately, the larger the battery’s capacity, the thicker the cable has to be to ensure that it can handle an increased flow of current.

Current (A)

Length In Feet

 

0-4

4-7

7-10

10-15

15-20

20-25

25-30

0-5

16 AWG

16 AWG

16 AWG

16 AWG

14 AWG

12 AWG

12 AWG

5-10

16 AWG

16 AWG

14 AWG

12 AWG

10 AWG

10 AWG

10 AWG

10-15

14 AWG

14 AWG

12 AWG

10 AWG

10 AWG

8 AWG

8 AWG

15-20

14 AWG

12 AWG

12 AWG

10 AWG

8 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

20-25

12 AWG

10 AWG

10 AWG

8 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

25-30

10 AWG

10 AWG

10 AWG

8 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

4 AWG

30-40

8 AWG

8 AWG

8 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

40-50

8 AWG

8 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

50-60

6 AWG

6 AWG

6 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

60-70

6 AWG

6 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

1/0 AWG

70-80

4 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

1/0 AWG

80-90

4 AWG

4 AWG

4 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

90-100

2 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

100-120

2 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

2 AWG

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

2/0 AWG

120-150

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

1/0 AWG

2/0 AWG

4/0 AWG

150-200

2/0 AWG

2/0 AWG

2/0 AWG

2/0 AWG

2/0 AWG

4/0 AWG

4/0 AWG

Conclusion

Finding the correct cable size for your marine battery can be a frustrating task, especially when you have no idea where to start. However, with the tips you have learned in this article, you will be a pro at determining cable size for any type of battery.

Marine battery cable diameter chart

The correct size wire is crucial in ensuring electricity flow through the cable. Installing the right-sized cables will also prevent common performance factors, such as voltage drop, overheating, and electrical fires.

There are a lot of wires on the market and they each vary in size. Shop Solar Kits have the best range of marine battery cables and equipment to get you started on your solar journey. Always do your research on solar wire calculators and wire gauge voltage charts before installing your solar system.

We can also give you further advice on the best way to select cable size depending on your electrical requirements. If you want to make some extra cash on the side, why not join our solar panel affiliate program for extra incentives?

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Article by

Cody Oehm

Cody is the Head of Marketing at Shop Solar, and joined the company in spring of 2022. 

He has an entrepreneurial background and has been in the ecommerce industry since 2015. With 4 businesses under his belt and a drive to make a bigger impact, he decided to team up with Shop Solar on their mission to make solar simple and affordable. You can browse best seller's here.

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